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We consider optimization of the capacity of a multi-input single-output wideband cellular "downlink," in which the base station has estimates of the statistics of the spatial channel. Our main focus is on orthogonal frequency-division multiplexed (OFDM) systems, although some of our results apply to single-carrier systems, as well. Prior work has shown that estimates of the channel spatial covariance can be obtained without overhead for both frequency-division duplex (FDD) and time-division duplex (TDD) systems by suitably averaging uplink measurements. In this paper, we investigate the benefits of supplementing this "free" covariance feedback with mean feedback, where the latter refers to estimates of the spatial channel realization in each subcarrier. Mean feedback can be obtained using reciprocity for TDD systems, and requires explicit feedback for FDD systems. We first devise strategies for using both covariance and mean feedback, mainly restricting attention to beamforming, which is optimal or near-optimal for many outdoor channels with narrow spatial spread. Second, since mean feedback degrades rapidly with feedback delay for mobile channels, we develop quantitative rules of thumb regarding the accuracy required for the mean feedback to be a useful supplement to the already available, and robust, covariance feedback. Our results validate the following intuition: the accuracy requirements for mean feedback to be useful are more relaxed for channels with larger spatial spread, or for a larger number of transmit elements.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2006